India’s population is over 100 crores. This is likely to increase to 150-180 crores in 2050. The need of food grain and water will be tremendous. It is becoming necessary to develop projects, which will help to increase food production & the flow of water.
Every year normally we get 4000 Billion Cubic Metre (B.C.M.) water and 1900 B.C.M. water is mixed with sea without being used. With growing demand of water, disputes over the use of fresh water are becoming very common causing avoidable tensions between states. Due to uncertain and inequitable rains every year we face scarcity of water in dry seasons. The fury of floods in some parts of the country also causes havoc every year. “Interlinking of Rivers” can provide a solution to these problems and also bring most of the irrigable land under cultivation. It can get us additional 200 B.C.M. of water.
Dr. K.L. Rao, the Minister of Power and Irrigation in the Cabinet of Smt. Indira Gandhi presented a plan to link the Ganga and Cauvery in 1974. This proposal had 2640 km long Ganga Cauvery link as its main component. The scheme had also proposed flood control measures. Dr. Rao had estimated this proposal to cost about Rs. 12500 crores, which at 2002 price level was put at about Rs. 150000 crores.
Dr. APJ Adbul kalam has said that an infrastructure development programme of the scale of the interlinking of rivers would open up a whole new world of job opportunities for youth.
The BJP also believes that Interlinking of rivers is the project, which will surely help in development of India. By interlinking of rivers regional imbalances could be reduced significantly and lot of benefits by the way of additional irrigation, domestic and industrial water supply, hydro power generation, navigational facilities could also be achieved.
The BJP-ruled Gujarat has interlinked 21 rivers. With the availability of additional water for irrigation, Gujarat agriculture is growing at much faster rate as compared with the rest of India.
If given a chance by the people in the next general elections, the BJP would accord high priority to the inter-linking of rivers.